PORTLAND — The Jesuits of Maine and Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland invite all to attend a celebration of the Ignatian Year (May 20, 2021, to July 31, 2022), an opportunity to grow in relationship with God and our love for one another, on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 3:30 p.m., followed by a special Mass at 4:30 p.m. The gathering will be held at St. Pius X Church, located on 492 Ocean Avenue.

This year (2021) marks the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion on a fateful day when Ignatius the soldier, struck by a cannonball, began his transformation into Ignatius the pilgrim, changing from a person pre-occupied with success and romance to a person on fire with the love of the Lord.

The Holy See has granted a plenary indulgence to the faithful who visit the churches of the Society of Jesus during the Ignatian Year. The requirements for receiving the indulgence can be met at the gathering on Oct. 23:  celebrating the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist and praying for the intentions of the Pope. Confessions will be offered starting at 3:30 p.m.

“Ignatius wrote about his own experience of being led by God’s grace so that others, too, might experience what he did. From this we have his ‘Spiritual Exercises’ which have influenced many, many people these 500 years,” said Fr. Paul Sullivan, SJ, who is the pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland. “For this Ignatian Year, we ask for the grace to see all things new in Christ. How might we commit to ongoing conversion? How might we learn to recognize and embrace those ‘cannonball moments’ in our own lives?”

“The motto for this year is ‘To see all things new in Christ.’ Our goal is to seek opportunities that work toward our four Universal Apostolic Preferences: promoting the Spiritual Exercises, walking with the excluded, journeying with youth, and caring for our common home,” said Fr. Joseph O’Keefe, SJ, provincial of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus.

“God continues to invite each of us into a deepening relationship, to ongoing conversion. We believe that by embracing this invitation, we embrace our God who calls us to act in new, bold ways that reconcile our world, bringing about justice, peace, and compassion. For this Ignatian Year, we ask for the grace to see all things new in Christ,” said Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, superior general of the Society of Jesus.

For more information about the event on Oct. 23 or the Ignatian Year, contact Our Lady of Hope Parish at 207-797-7026 or ourladyofhope@portlanddiocese.org.